Fords rally back from match points for win over Kalamazoo

HAVERFORD, Pa. – Andy Dougherty and Robert Homan captured wins at Nos. 5 and 6 singles, respectively, to rally Haverford College's men's tennis team past visiting Kalamazoo College in a 5-4 non-conference victory late Tuesday night.

The come-from-behind win improves Haverford's season mark to 4-2 while the Hornets slip to 4-4.

With Haverford trailing 4-3, Dougherty broke out ahead of Kzoo's David DeSimone with a first-set win, 7-5, at 5-singles. DeSimone would answer with a 6-3 win to pull even then maintained his momentum in the early sets of the third.

Dougherty battled back, fighting off a match point, to knot the score at 6-6, forcing a tie break which he won, 7-3, to set the match points back even with only Homan's match at No. 6 still on the courts of The Gary Lutnick Tennis & Track Center.

Homan fell behind the Hornets' Spencer Navarre with a first-set loss but turned the tables with a 6-3 win in the second. Homan led 4-3, 5-4 and 6-5 in the third but each time Navarre was able to win the next set to pull back even, eventually sending the 6-singles match to a, fittingly, winner take all tie break set.

After splitting the first two points Navarre pushed ahead by two, with Homan chasing back by winning the next point to trim the deficit in half.

Homan finally pulled even at 6-6, fighting off a match point, then took the lead with the next point only to see Navarre battle back with consecutive points to take an 8-7 lead.

Fighting off another match point Homan evened the score at 8-8, then moved ahead when Navarre double faulted. Homan served then finished off the match with a driving forehand past Navarre into the deep, right corner to put an end to the two teams' 8 hour, 6 minute match.

Entering singles action the Fords were ahead after doubles wins at Nos. 1 and 3. Luis Acaba and Jacob Youse scored an 8-2 win at 1-doubles, and Dougherty and Devin Van Dyke teamed up for an 8-6 win at No. 3.

Matt Romei extended the Haverford lead with a 2-1 win at No. 3 but Kalamazoo won three straight to set up the wild finish for Dougherty and Homan.

The Fords get a well-deserved rest and won't hit the courts again until Friday afternoon when Christopher Newport University comes to campus for another non-conference match-up.